Batter Up! Walton Goggins' Guide to Dodgers Dining (Without Eating Ballpark Food)
The actor and founder of L.A. spirits company Mulholland Distilling reveals his favorite pit stops en route to first pitch: "Trust me, it's one of the best meals you'll ever get."
Hot damn, it's springtime in Los Angeles. After four months of rain, it means two things to me: wildflowers in the desert and Dodgers baseball. One of my favorite days in L.A. is going to see the home team play at Dodger Stadium: That view, those Dodger Dogs, no time limit. If, on your way to the stadium, you're down for a pre- or post-game fix, here are four of my favorite places to scratch that itch, regardless of the route you take. But I take Sunset.
BAR STELLA Located at Sunset Junction, Bar Stella is one of the most sophisticated, bohemian rooms to have a drink in L.A. Think expat Parisian watering hole from the 1920s with stuffed peacocks and Moroccan pillows. Maxfield Parrish could have painted a mural in this place. The bartenders, wearing formal white jackets, mix the kind of cocktails that make you want to share secrets. Ask for the Eastsider and you'll know what I mean. The owner, Gareth Katner, has been a good friend for almost 17 years. He started with Café Stella, then opened Bar Stella in 2012. 3932 Sunset Blvd.
SQIRL Day game? No problem. I'll take any excuse to have breakfast or lunch at this restaurant. The owner, Jessica Koslow, is one of the most celebrated chefs in America. My family and I were early adopters and have a brass plate on the wall to prove it. My 8-year-old son goes for Jessica's toast with ricotta and homemade Sqirl jam, while I gravitate to the sorrel pesto rice. But as my wife says, "Walton, just close your eyes and point to the board." Trust me. Whatever you get will be one of the best meals you've ever had. And if you're lucky, you'll get a seat next to Jessica's husband, Ryan, who drops by on the weekends. He's an assistant district attorney in Los Angeles. How cool is that? 720 N. Virgil Ave.
MOHAWK BEND Pushing along Sunset, before the lineup on Vin Scully Avenue, is Mohawk Bend, a craft-beer restaurant and bar dedicated to local spirits — they have one of the best collections in town — and high-end cocktails. While they offer meat on the menu, it's what they do with vegan fare that keeps me coming back. From cauliflower to chickpeas, grain bowls to artichoke tacos, this is California vegan at its best. 2141 Sunset Blvd.
HIPPO After the game (or before!), coming down the 110 … OK, I don't care if you're driving down the 101, the 134 or the 405 — go here! It's everything I could want in a restaurant, a local crowd with food that makes me feel grateful for every bite. Chef Matt Molina is a wizard of delights. And the cocktails: Clare Ward is the head bartender and one of the finest in our city. Ask for the Angeleno 75. It's made with our Mulholland Distilling gin, lemon, Amaro Angeleno and bubbles. It will make you hit a home run every time you step up to the plate. Go, Dodgers! 5916½ N. Figueroa St.
This story first appeared in the April 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.